Thursday, September 27, 2012

sponsor highlight + giveaway: stitched simplicity


Erika is one of my "oldest blog friends" and has *got* to be the sweetest blogger around. I think one of the most inspiring things about her is that she has been diagnosed and living with Crohn's Disease for years and yet, she is so upbeat, positive, and loving. She lives her life and doesn't let it slow her down if she can help it. I love that about her. 

She lives in Seattle and I'm so bummed I haven't gotten a chance to hug her in real life yet. Erika is engaged to Joe, has an adorable pup - Ollie - and runs a handmade shop & blog called Stitched Simplicity. On the blog, she posts about Life in Seattle // Color inspiration // and about running her business. In her shop, she sews up the highest of quality baby goods, including baby blankets, burp cloths, mini quilts, bibs, and items of the like...all made with the highest end & most recent designer fabrics. She has an amazing eye for color & design and it shows in her work! Here's what she has to say about Stitched Simplicity.


GIVEAWAY ITEM:
Today, Erika is giving away a "winner's choice" custom 30"X36" minky baby blanket, which is a $38 value! 

DISCOUNT CODE:
OHSWEETJOY20 for 20% off your purchase in her shop! Her items go FAST, especially when there's a discount code floating around, so snag what you like!

LINKS TO FIND MORE FROM ERIKA:





love.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

now's your chance for FALL & HOLIDAY ADVERTISING


I can hardly believe that Fall is here & even though you might want to hear it yet, the Holidays are right around the corner. It's no surprise that a 3 month LARGE advertisement  is the most bang for your buck because not only do you get an ad spot and lots of exposure, but spots are limited and rotate frequently. You also receive an individual sponsor highlight and giveaway post at some point throughout your ad. 

When signing up for 3 month ad partnership, large or small, with Oh, Sweet Joy! starting in October, you will receive prime Holiday advertising and exposure. 

Your ad will run through an exciting announcement, a fun photoshoot, the annual 
OH, SWEET JOY HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, lots of DIY goodness, and great recipes that are on the agenda. Most importantly, it will run October - November - December, which will ensure Holiday shoppers. Handmade shops and small businesses, NOW is the time to jump on Holiday advertising to be on shoppers' radars from the get-go

Don't miss out! 

** SPECIAL: Sign up for a 3 month partnership (large or small) and receive the entire month of January for FREE. Seriously, MY TREAT. January is tough for retail and handmade businesses, alike. Let's keep the ball rolling and have your shops at the top of Oh, Sweet Joy! readers' lists for where to spend their Christmas cash ;) **

Email me ((ohsweetjoyATgmailDOTcom)) for a current info sheet with rates & to sign up. 
Are you ready? Let's grow your business and/or blog this Fall & Holiday season!! 

love.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

((outfit schmoutfit)) bows on my shoes


I'm definitely all about jackets this Fall. I'm trying to not rely on cardigans so much, and this military jacket has been such a great basic staple in my wardrobe. Pairing it with lace & some bow-adorned ballet flats adds an eclectic and feminine quality to an otherwise fairly masculine jacket. Speaking of bow-adorned ballet flats, these Michael Anthonio flats from Heels.com are adorable and are SO great when I'm needing more color in an outfit or even when I'm dressed a bit "blah" and need a fun pop of pattern.  They also come in a slate blue/silver combo. 


Another option is rocking it with a long white t-shirt, skinnies, combat boots and a top bun for a tough, yet effortless & still feminine look. That's my plan for tomorrow ;)

Glasses: Warby Parker
Jacket: Kohl's
((similar ones HERE & HERE))
Skinny Belt, Crochet Lace Tank, Jeans: Anthropologie
Flats: C/O Heels.com 
* discout code above*

love.




Monday, September 24, 2012

handmade monday: fall diy round-up


Ohhhhhh, y'all. Fall is in FULL swing up in here. Candy corn is in a vintage orange pyrex bowl on the dinner table, I'm busting my pumpkins out this week, pumpkin marshmallow s'mores are on the agenda for the week, and I keep finding myself wearing autumnal shades. 

This week for Handmade Monday, I just wanted to share my favorite Autumn-inspired DIY projects & recipes for you to be inspired by!
((I made a few of these a couple of years ago and loooove them!))





((I want to make this in a cozy flannel to double as a hood/scarf!))

Do you have a fun Fall/Autumn themed project that you've shared on your blog? Share the link below! 

love.

Friday, September 21, 2012

a tour of our home

In light of the Martha post, which I'm still overwhelmed by the response, I thought it'd be fun to share my home with you all. Since each of  you can't come over for the Apple Pie I made on Wednesday with a big ol scoop ((or two)) of Blue Bell, I thought I'd walk you through the rooms & walls that make up our cozy little 2 bedroom condo. 

((originally posted HERE on Heather's Home Made Lovely Tour)) 

When Heather invited me to be a part of her Home Made Lovely series I immediately felt unequipped and under-qualified. The homes featured have been nothing short of something you'd see in Southern Living or Anthology Magazine. Mine definitely doesn't fit that bill. The more I thought about this, I realized by feeling this way I was being insecure and unappreciative of the blessing of our home. You see, my husband and I are just 25 year old young'uns. He is a Church Planter and I am a blogger and a part-time Personal Shopper...needless to say we aren't rollin' in the dough. We have a very modest two bedroom, one bath apartment. We don't have a beautiful, quirky, or expansive home but we love it and are abundantly blessed

Home to me is a place where we can have friends over for cake & ice cream. It's a place that we can invite our community over for dinner and good conversation on a weekly basis.  It's a place where I can sew and blog and bake the day away on my days off. It's a place that I can rest on the sofa and watch 30 Rock with my husband and relax. Home is where I can unashamedly blast the Dixie Chicks and sing as loud as I can with my best Texas twang. It's a refuge for me when I'm overwhelmed. It's a place where color rules and love abounds. It may not be picture perfect all the time - in fact, there are shoes strewn about and there's mail all over the place most of the time. There are dirty dishes by the sink and sometimes on the table from the night before. 

But today, I vacuumed for you. You're welcome. :)


This is our kitchen. It's tiny, but much bigger than our previous one so I kind of love it. The granite counter tops hide coffee grinds and crumbs well. 


Our dining nook also has a bar that used to be our kitchen island. We hide our liquor in there ;) The chalkboard above is frequently updated with our favorite verses or sayings. The table was a hand-me-down and the chairs are vintage that I spray painted and recovered. They are falling apart, but I love them and can't seem to get rid of them! The extra seating on the side of the table is a vintage stool that I thrifted and also recovered. 

The dining room and living room are all in one space. Our West Elm furniture pulls all the pattern and details together for a comfy space. I painted the paintings when we were engaged and they've stayed with us! The bookshelf got moved in here recently and needs to be painted pronto. 

Our bedroom is suuuuuper colorful, as our Anthro bedding is kind of crazy and our closets are always open. I like it that way. It's like an explosion of pattern and color. One day I'll grow up and have a beautiful master suite that is all coordinated and calming. Today's not that day.

((this is my "what to wear" outfit planning station. i kind of love it))

Our spare bedroom is a trifecta of functionality. There is a bed for guests, a desk for Chase and a sewing space for me. I love that Chase's photography is on the walls in our home.

Our fireplace & mantle (mantel? I never know) shows that we bleed Texas blood. The photo is of Chase's grandparents at the cabin that we frequent in the summers. It's our favorite place in the world and we will reenact this photo one day.


What does "home" mean to you?

love.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

on being a "martha"

...and no, I'm not referring to the Stewart variety ;)

A story that's been on my heart lately is the one of Mary & Martha. It's short, so I'll go ahead and include it here. 

(( Luke 10:38-42 from the ESV))


38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

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I have to admit that even though I've heard & read this passage many times...when reading this story for the first time with a "fresh" perspective, I was kind of frustrated at Jesus for not telling Mary to get off of her lazy-you-know-what and help her sister. Mostly, however, I was super convicted of my lack of understanding of Mary's actions. 

Here's a little bit of back-story on how this story came to be on my heat and mind. On Tuesdays, we host Missional Community at our place. You might know this better as "small group, home group" and other titles of the like. You can read more about our Missional Communities here.  Anywho, on this particular Tuesday, I wasn't feeling well, I was exhausted, spread too thin between work, keeping up with the house, trying to keep up with friends and family, maintaining a healthy marriage, planning & making meals, etc. Ya know...life. To put it quite frankly, I was cranky. I was ((unadmittedly at the time)) mad about lugging the vacuum upstairs. I was frustrated with how many dishes I had let pile up around the sink that I'd have to clean. I was equally grumpy that the dishwasher hadn't been run, so it was full of dirty dishes as well. I was bitter that no one had bothered to RSVP or sign up for things to bring, so I was going to either a. not have enough food or b. have to go back to the store to get the items no one had yet to volunteer to bring. Bottom line, I had made Missional Community that night about me. What I had to do to prepare for it, cook for it, clean for it, etc. 

Chase came home from a day of meetings, sermon prep, and studying to a wife with a storm cloud over her head. 
"Do you need any help?" 
"No."
 "Are you sure?" 
"Yes." 
"Okay, I'm going to go into the study and read for a bit." 
"Fine. Sigh."

What a gem of a wife I was in that moment, huh? Wanting help, but not taking it. Being too prideful to ask & accept it. Getting mad that he didn't just go ahead and take the trash out without me asking. Aren't husbands supposed to read minds? 

I have a feeling this is what would have happened with sassy-at-the-moment Martha, had Mary even volunteered to help. Sarcastically saying, "Oh noooo, Mary. You just sit on your rear and listen to the Nice Man tell stories. I'll clean and sweep and cook and go to the well to get water for these hundreds of random people who are standing around & in our house. I've got this." All the while, fuming, and making this situation all about her, rather than just taking a second to sit with Jesus. 

Anywho, back to my story. Chase sat me down after everyone left and gently called me out on how I was acting. Using examples of my grumpy cleaning rituals, taking dishes and cleaning them while people are chatting, catching up on each others' weeks, and sharing life with one another. "Humbly serving" on the outside. "Bitterly hosting" on the inside. He quite lovingly said, "I want you to think about how you *might* be living more like a Martha than a Mary."

Cuss. 

He was right.

But this isn't the first time this Martha syndrome had taken over my heart. When The Well was just getting started, we hosted church at our home. Every Sunday morning, I was stressed about cleaning and more concerned with kids breaking my vintage vases rather than just loving them. Volcano candles had to be lit or else our home smelled like whatever incense our neighbor had lit. I was frustrated to have to clean up my studio so the kids had somewhere to go for "children's church" when I had orders lined up and organized and dresses half sewn. I felt like my home was taken over & disrespected when babies were put in pack-n-plays in our bedroom, OUR BEDROOM!, without my being asked.  When the communion wine got spilled & stained our carpet, I was PISSED. And no way, I didn't want to make coffee for anyone or let people use my expensive Almond Joy creamer or Torani Syrups. What, you think we're made of money or something? Drink coffee before you come. 

I am both humored by and disgusted that this was FOR REAL my heart. Thank the LORD for grace and second & third fourth chances.

((thickkkkkkkk sarcasm)) 
What a LOVELY pastor's wife you're becoming Kim! This is really your knack, isn't it? Gosh, hospitality and the gospel sure shine in your home. I can't wait to come over again next week!

Church became more about my frustrations than it was about community and the gospel. And our team called us out on it. 

Cuss. 

You're all right.

In BOTH situations, in my heart, I believed was serving. Bitterly, yes. But I was serving for crying out loud. The Bible has much to say about the appreciation of a servant's heart ((Mark 9:35, Colossians 3:23-24, Matthew 24:45-46)), so why wasn't my servant-hood being appreciated at ALL?
Um, because I was making it about me. 
I had this disgusting anxiety of making my home look perfect and put-together. The meal for Missional Community had to be complete and smelling aromatic RIGHT at 6:30 and if the bathroom wasn't clean by 6? Cue panic and grumpy pants Kim. 

Jon Bloom says it this way:
This kind of anxiety is very subtle. It has a selfish root, but its fruit looks deceptively like unselfishness. It's the desire for approval dressed up to look like the desire to serve. It's my caring what you think of me dressed up to look like my caring for you. It can be so subtle that we don't see it clearly. It looks so much like the right thing that we believe it is the right thing.

I'm still "chewing on" and thinking about what Jesus means by "Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." in verse 42. All I know is that Martha's actions were disrespectful and petty enough for Jesus to see right through her & lovingly rebuke her when she childishly said "Jesussssss! Tell my sister to help meeeee." ((in my head that's how she said it, all whiny and such)). Mary chose the right thing by sitting with Him at His feet and listening intently. When was the last time I did that on a Tuesday when I was supposed to be cooking for 12 and cleaning? 

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Are you guilty of being a Martha? Join the club, but let's not meet weekly about it & stay in the club. ;) Let's, instead, pray daily for a heart that truly wants to be a joyful servant, not for selfish motives, but for the sake of the GOSPEL. To make people feel loved and welcomed, as Jesus did. 

love.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

((outfit schmoutfit)) flannel + no make-up = mountain kim

Flannel, V-neck, Boots - Target
Glasses - Warby Parker

Something that's missing from most gals who post outfits is real life outfits. Everything usually looks way too put together, prim, proper, planned, unrealistic. This is a real life outfit, folks -- no make-up and all. Nothing fancy ((at all)), no jewelry, nothing planned.  It's rather boring now that I think about it. Oh well, it's wearable! If you want a fancier way to wear a flannel, here's this one from last year. Thanks Target for the best go-to flannels every year and thank YOU, incredibly long torso, for making it look like a crop top. ;) 

love.


Monday, September 17, 2012

((handmade monday)) homemade pumpkin spice marshmallows


It's definitely that time of year, where everone goes overboard with the pumpkin. Pumpkin spice lattes ((I'm definitely already over reading countless tweets & facebook statuses about everyone's beloved PSL. White Peppermint Mocha is where it's at, y'all)), pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins ((check)), pumpkin bread, pumpkin macarons ((that's next for me!)), pumpkin soup ((no thank you)), you NAME it. I'm definitely a fan of this beloved orange squash. 


I've been wanting to make homemade marshmallows for a while, but because of the mess, the time, etc., I wanted to make it worthwhile and do something crazy with the flavor. Alas, the Pumpkin Spice Marshmallow was born. I combined about 4 recipes based off of ingredients I had and then made up the rest. What can I say? I was feeling ballsy bold. 



Ready for the recipe? Here ya go:

Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
((makes one 9X13 pan, about 48 inch cubes))

What you'll need:
candy thermometer
cooking spray
a quarter to half a cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 1/4 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
dash of salt
cinnamon
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice torani syrup ((optional))
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ((I just made my own))
1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree

Directions:
1. Spray down your 9X13 with cooking spray, I used canola oil. Sift a spoonful of powdered sugar on top and make sure the sides and bottom of pan are covered. 
2.  In your kitchen-aid mixer, sprinkle the gelatin over your 1/4 cup COLD water and let it sit. This will make it soften. No need to stir yet.
3.  In a saucepan, combine your sugar, corn syrup, another 1/4 cup of COLD water, and dash of salt over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon or non-stick spoon-tula until the sugar has dissolved. Increase your heat at this point to medium/high. Bring mixture to a boil, hook on your candy thermometer to the saucepan and, without stirring, let boil until the candy thermometer reaches 240° F. This took about 6-8 minutes.  
4.  While the sugar & corn syrup mixture is boiling, take a handheld electric mixer & beat your egg white until stiff peaks just begin to hold. It should be white, but not super shiny.
5.  Once your sugar & corn syrup mixture has reached 240° F, remove from the heat and pour  over the gelatin mixture that is in our stand mixer. Stir gently until the gelatin has dissolved. Then, turn the mixer on high speed for about 5 minutes until it is thick and white. It should triple in volume. 
6. Beat egg white, vanilla, torani syrup, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin together JUST until combined (don't over-do it!) and then add it to the gelatin & marshmallow mixture in the stand mixer. Again, beat together until just combined. 
7.  Immediately pour mixture into your powdered 9X13. Mix a spoonful of powdered sugar and a dash of cinnamon and sift over marshmallows in pan. Let them chill  in the refrigerator for a few hours. 
8. When they're chilled and "set," spray a knife with cooking oil and run it along the edges of the pan. Cover a baking sheet with powdered sugar and flip the marshmallows onto the baking sheet, gently. 
9.  Cut marshmallows into cubes or desired shapes and cover all sides in a powdered sugar + cinnamon mixture. This ensures that they won't stick together once you package them. 


I plopped ((is that a gross word? whatever)) a few in a homemade vanilla chai latte and it was PERFECTION. Enjoy! 

NOTE: THE VANILLA CHAI LATTE IS SIMPLY A VANILLA CHAI TEA BAG STEEPED IN MILK AND WATER. IT WAS THE STANDARD RECIPE ON THE BOX. HOPE THAT HELPS!


love.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

a 24 hour ((anniversary)) getaway

Sometimes just a day away from the norm is oh, so good for the soul...especially when there's much to be celebrated. Chase and I celebrated four years of marriage on Thursday.

What a gift this man is. What a gift marriage is. 

We went to the cabin and soaked up time with each other &  the Fall colors in Crested Butte. SO stunning. I can't ever ever ever get enough of seasons changing, especially when God's glory is so extravagantly displayed in golden aspens, orange foliage, and cooler temperatures.

We took the scenic route home, after a leftover picnic in the park, going over Kebler pass in Crested Butte all the way to Carbondale & Glenwood Springs, through Vail to see an old friend, and then back to Boulder. Somehow the 4 hour turned 7.5 hour trip was still peaceful and relaxing. It's kind of exciting to see parts of the state you've never seen before, isn't it?


Thankful doesn't even begin to explain it. 

Oh yeah, and I got bangs before we pulled out of town on Thursday. Giggle.

love.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

GROUP sponsor highlight + giveaway ((featuring give with joy, studio pro 31, and bonjour victoria!))



Faith is my foundation, art is my passion and being married to my high school sweet heart is my fairy tale. Yep, those are just a few of the things that bring me joy. 

I love the fact that a simple, beautiful card can brighten someone's day because we all need reminder that we are meant to live a life of JOY!  I launched my shop - give with JOY - because I have a desire to inspire others to be 'day makers'! So, shop around. Have a collection of cards on hand to spread JOY! 
---

Spreading that joy, Aneta is giving away a $20 shop credit :)


Discount Code: SWEETJOY for 15% off!
LINK LOVE: 

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Hello there lovelies! I’m Victoria & am blogging to share a little piece of my heart with the world. The name of my blog is “Bonjour Victoria”, I am a French girl who somehow ended up deep in the heart of Texas! During the next few months I am going to be making several leaps from single to married, from college student to elementary school teacher, renter to home owner- and I couldn’t possibly be more excited to blog about it along the way. I love sharing interior design ideas, the occasional photo shoot, & the things that God is pouring into me. The purpose of my blog is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ above all else & I hope you’ll come check out my happy little space of the interwebs! I’m giving away a $20 starbucks gift card to treat one lucky reader to a few pumpkin spice lattes.. because it’s finally that joyous time of year again! Please stop by and say hello, I’d love to hear from ya!

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A fellow Aggie, an adorable soul, and a fellow past Anthropologie employee, I love this girl and her blog through & through!


Giveaway Item: $20 STARBUCKS GIFT CARD!

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Ever since I can remember I have loved crafting! For the past year and a half now I have had the joy of sharing my handmade creations with others through craft shows, ladies conferences, and Etsy. I am a Texas girl, but recently moved to the Central Coast of California with my wonderful husband of almost one year! Woohoo!!

Though my"normal job" is in the salon, more recently I have been spending most of my time designing new creations for my shop. So stay tuned and enjoy browsing my line of handmade paper goods!

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Raechel is giving away a $20 shop credit to her shop, StudioPro31!

Discount Code: OHSWEET15 for 15% off
Link Love:
 







love.